Welcome back to “The Show.”

Baseball is back on a global stage in 2021, the first time that baseball is in the Olympics since 2008, and it’s going to be a doozy. 

This year, a six-team field faces off for the gold medal on the penultimate day of the 2021 Olympic games, with the United States, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Israel and the Dominican Republic sending their best ballplayers to Tokyo to prove dominance over the baseball world.

In all, 16 games will be played to decide who’s going to go home to their respective country with a gold medal. It isn’t a lock that it’s going to be the United States, either: The US has a single gold medal in four appearances in the Olympic games. (They did, though, win the 2017 World Baseball Classic.)

Here’s what you need to know about the 2021 Olympic baseball tourney:

Olympic baseball 2021 tournament

Olympic baseball this year works a bit different than it has in years past:


In all, six teams qualified for a chance at a gold medal this year:

— Japan qualified for being the host nation.

— Israel qualified as the winner of the Asia/Europe qualifying event in 2019.

— At the 2019 WBSC Premier12, South Korea and Mexico both qualified. 

— Earlier in 2021, the United States qualified in an Americas qualifying event.

— At the final qualifying event in 2021, the Dominican Republic earned an Olympic bid.


The actual Olympic tournament is a little bit more complicated than its softball counterpart. Here’s how it breaks down:

Group stage

The six teams will be divided into two groups: Group A (Japan, Mexico and the Dominican Republic) and Group B (the U.S., Israel and South Korea). Teams in their groups will play each others once, for six games total.

Knockout stage

In the first three games, the teams in opposing groups will play one another based on seeding from group play (A1 vs. B1, A2 vs. B2, A3 vs. B3). The loser of the A3 vs. B3 game is eliminated from the tournament.

Otherwise, teams play one another in a double-elimination tournament until there is one team left from the winners and losers bracket. Those two teams will play one another in the gold-medal game. The last two teams eliminated in the losers bracket will play in the bronze-medal game. There will be 10 total games played in the knockout stage (include bronze- and gold-medal games) for 16 games overall.

USA Olympic baseball roster

The 24-man roster is managed by former Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia:

Pos. Name Team Club
INF Nick Allen Athletics Midland (AA)
INF Eddy Alvarez Marlins Jacksonville (AAA)
OF Tyler Austin Nippon Professional Baseball Yokohama DeNA BayStars
RHP Shane Baz Rays Durham (AAA)
RHP Anthony Carter Mexican League Saraperos de Saltillo
INF Triston Casas Red Sox Portland (AA)
RHP Brandon Dickson Cardinals Memphis (AAA)
C Tim Federowicz Dodgers Oklahoma City (AAA)
OF Eric Filia Mariners Tacoma (AAA)
INF Todd Frazier Free Agent
LHP Anthony Gose Indians Columbus (AAA)
RHP Edwin Jackson Free Agent
LHP Scott Kazmir Giants Sacramento (AAA)
OF/INF Patrick Kivlehan Padres El Paso (AAA)
C Mark Kolozsvary Reds Chattanooga (AA)
UTL Jack Lopez Red Sox Worcester (AAA)
RHP Nick Martinez Nippon Professional Baseball Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
RHP Scott McGough Nippon Professional Baseball Tokyo Yakult Swallows
RHP David Robertson Free Agent
RHP Joe Ryan Rays Durham (AAA)
RHP Ryder Ryan Rangers Round Rock (AAA)
OF Bubba Starling Royals Omaha (AAA)
INF/OF Jamie Westbrook Brewers Nashville (AAA)
RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson Blue Jays New Hampshire (AA)

Olympic baseball standings

Group A

Position Team Games played Wins Losses Games back
1 Japan 2 2 0
2 Dominican Republic 2 1 1 1
3 Mexico 2 0 2 2

Group B

Position Team Games played Wins Losses Games back
1 United States 2 2 0
2 Republic of Korea 2 1 1 1
3 Israel 2 0 2 2

Olympic baseball 2021 schedule

There are 16 games total in the Olympic baseball tournament. We don’t know the knockout stage matchups yet, but we know when the games will be played:

Group stage

Date Group Matchup Start time (ET) Result
Tuesday, July 27 A Dominican Republic vs. Japan 11 p.m. Japan, 4-3
Thursday, July 29 B Israel vs. South Korea 6 a.m. Korea, 6-5
Thursday, July 29 A Mexico vs. Dominican Republic 11 p.m. Dominican Republic, 1-0
Friday, July 30 B United States vs. Israel 6 a.m. USA, 8-1
Friday, July 30 A Japan vs. Mexico 11 p.m. Japan, 7-4
Saturday, July 31 B South Korea vs. United States 6 a.m. USA, 4-2

Knockout stage

Game No. Date Matchup Start time (ET) Result
1 Saturday, July 31 Mexico vs. Israel 11 p.m. TBD
2 Sunday, Aug. 1 Dominican Republic vs. Republic of Korea 6 a.m. TBD
3 Sunday, Aug. 1 Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner 11 p.m. TBD
4 Monday, Aug. 2 United States vs. Japan 6 a.m. TBD
5 Tuesday, Aug. 3 Game 3 loser vs. Game 2 loser 6 a.m. TBD
6 Tuesday, Aug. 3 Game 5 winner vs. Game 4 loser 11 p.m. TBD
7 Wednesday, Aug. 4 Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 6 a.m. TBD
8 Thursday, Aug. 5 Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 loser 6 a.m. TBD
9 Friday, Aug. 6 Bronze medal game 11 p.m. TBD
10 Saturday, Aug. 7 Gold medal game 6 a.m. TBD

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